Good Old Fashion Wisconsin Wedding Design

Wedding design themes and locations come in all shapes and sizes, including a cute-as-can-be rustic chic wedding.  Rustic aged wood, modern copper accents, and wildflowers help to define this bride's style.  Our bakery created a versatile country ruffled two tiered wedding cake. A perfect flavor combination for this type of event would be our buttermilk blackberry cake or our vanilla lemon chiffon cake.  

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Holiday Menu is Here!

Do you remember what your heart feels like on Christmas?  My heart feels this way starting in October because this is when I start opening up my chocolate confections book and start practicing my holiday menu!  I have narrowed down my holiday menu in December to 4 items: Chocolate truffle boxes, Gingerbread Cake, Gluten Free Yule Longs, and Soft Salted Caramels.  The truffle boxes and caramels are made the second week in December is they are CRAZY fresh for you and your family!

He knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her in Laramie, Wyoming.

My favorite part of Meringue is when I can work with a couple and create a wedding dessert that is truly custom to who they are and the message or feeling they want to give to their guests.  This couple is a great example of how to think outside of the box.  Let me start by saying they are the nicest couple.  Both sweet and thoughtful.  On the outside they do not appear to romantics, but just a few moments into meeting with them I had this feeling like they were both so appreciative to to have found one another.  They told me a story of when they were driving through Laramie Wyoming.  At the time, this man looked over to his (then) girlfriend and hew knew we wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.  Right there, smack dab in Laramie Wyoming.  They came in with a clear vision.  They wanted a cake that had the Laramie skyline.  

At Meringue, I am able to make cakes look like watercolor paintings by using  tools including airbrushes, edible paints, fondant, paint brushes.  Sometimes it looks a lot like an artist's studio in the kitchen.   In 2003 I was a student at   UW Barron County and I remember taking a watercolor class that I fell in love with.  I would go home and paint landscapes over and over again.  Who would have guessed a decade later I would be using those skills on a wedding cake? 

 

 

The Rules of Internet Baking

 

 

As a professional baker, Pinterest and other blogging websites have become a tool I use every day to keep up with current trends.  Over the years I consciously become smarter choosing at searching for recipes.  I have also seen the “Pinterest fails” in my own kitchen and I wanted to share some basic “tools” to take with you as you search and ultimately successfully bake in your own kitchen. 

1. Trust your source, not the picture.  The internet is flooded with recipes that anyone can post.  Look for recipes that have more than 20 reviews.  Until you find a blogger/source you trust do not assume the recipe is written accurately, or that the beautiful picture reflects how the dessert tastes.  The same is true of cookbooks.  I have learned this lesson the hard way and have been continuously disappointed by randomly picking a recipe based solely on how well the picture was taken, not the reputation of the source.   

2. Practice makes perfect OR stick with what you know.   Let me tell you a story from my baking past: I was going to a party where I wanted to make an impression.   I thought making homemade caramels would be just the trick and I had never made them before.   In reality they were too oozy, created a huge mess, and the chick that brought in a dessert sampler from Sam’s Club saved the day.   Give yourself enough time to run a test batch.  If you are in a time crunch:  it is better to stick with what you know than risk wasting your time, food cost, and pride. 

3. Follow baking recipes exactly.  There are some minor changes you can make: like substituting out nutmeg for cloves, or milk for buttermilk.  Generally, you owe it to the recipe to follow it exactly the first time you make it.  You can start putting your own twist on it AFTER you have made it at least once. 

4. Set a timer, literally.  When you start your internet search give yourself a time limit.   If you are spending more than 5 minutes searching for a specific recipe you have fallen into the Pinterest trap and you need to get out fast! 

5. I dislike any recipe that says you can use a plastic Zip Lock bag to use as a piping bag.  IT NEVER WORKS like you want it to.  Invest in a real piping bag with basic tips.  You can find them at any Walmart or hobby store.  If you do not have a piping bag it is better to go with a “rustic” look and embrace imperfection.   Do not try and decorate a fancy dessert with the wrong equipment. 

6. Know the importance of consistent portioning.  When you bake a cupcake or a cookie, the best tip I can give you is to use a scoop to portion.  This has everything to do with bake time. Think about it:  If a smaller cookie bakes faster than a larger cookie you are going to have a sheet full of cookies that are either baked too long, or under baked. 

7.0 The last rule: Stop dreaming about baking and actually do it!  Homemade baking is so rare these days and it truly is a way to show you love and care about someone.   Take risks, have fun, and if all else fails: listen to eighties love ballads and drink alcohol while you are in the kitchen